Daniel: Freedom Suit, Northampton County (Part 1 of 3)
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The separate answer of Charles J. D. West one of the defendants to the Bill of complaint of Daniel Mary Sr and others, paupers, exhibited in the Circuit Court of the County of Northampton against him and others.
This defendant noward at all times hereafter saving and reserving to himself all benefit and advantage of exception to the said bill either for form or substance for answer thereto or unto so much and such fact or facts thereof as he is advised is or are material to be answered unto, answering saith, That to have been informed that appear by counsel of the defendant James H. White was on the 8th of January 18 1838 admitted to record in the County Court of said County as the last will and testament of Nancy White, deceased, but whether it was his will, or if it was, the paper itself being only a copy of a will which had never been proved or admitted to record, it was sufficient in law to emancipate the slaves therein mentioned, this defendant subscribed to the decision of this Court. This defendant has no reason to doubt that the provisions of the said paper so far as professed to be quoted in the said bill are [convently?] set forth, but he desires that the said paper ever was proved as the true last will and testament of the said Nancy White, deceased, before the said County Court. This defendant further answering saith that he admits that the said slaves were in the possession after said Nancy White at the time of her death, and that they had been for one or two years before but not more, but whether she pretended to hold them as her own slaves this defendant does not know. Nor does this defendant know in what character the said James H. White took possession of the said slaves Daniel, Abraham, Mayer after the death of the said Nancy White, nor how the said Polly Frost took possession of the said Leah. And this defendant further answering saith that he admits that the said Daniel, Abraham, George or and